Kitschy Americana, refined luxury, neon sportswear, haute-drama and everything in between. Fashion Week like anything in the world of art, is a microcosm of the contemporary cultural climate, and New York is no exception. The polarity of difference and extremism in design on the runway can surely be read as a manifestation of the multiplicity of cultural identity in America in the present day. There are the safe bets: Tibi offered a working women’s sartorial starter kit for understated chic, whilst The Row presented luxe simplicity at it’s finest. But then there are also the wild cards: Telfar’s left field interpretation of Americana, Christian Cowan’s bizarre and mesmerizing theatricality, or Parsons’ MFA’s surrealist creations. There’s something for everyone on the runway.
Jeremy Scott’s latest collection for his eponymous line was said to be inspired by none other than himself. The offering was truthfully Jeremy Scott to a tee. Bold colors and busy prints abounded and a melange of grunge and punk references were juxtaposed by a contemporary helping of sports aesthetics. As his own muse, in an endearing reflexive moment, Scott printed Polaroid images of himself at age 18 trying different hair and makeup styles onto a number of garments.
3.1 Phillip Lim
Phillip Lim’s spring-summer offering was a coalescing of retro-futurism references, contemporary silhouettes, and North African Berber textiles. A combination of references, textures and palettes that hit the mark between high-conceptuality, impeccable design and wearability.
Telfar Clemens is always one to put on a show, and his latest collection was no exception. Set outside on the Blade helipad at FDR and 34th Street, the show was a mixture of American references, remixed, reinterpreted and then spit out through the lens of Clemens’ post-gender aesthetics. There were collegiate polos, American flags, heritage graphic tees, wide 1970’s lapels, and fitted 80’s muscle shirts. But none of it felt altogether retrospective. Instead, Telfar’s take on Americana was resolutely contemporary in an eerie way; like the references were all merely simulacra, resembling that which evokes the warm fuzzy feeling of bygone eras but with just enough of a twist to make you do a double take.
Amy Smilovic’s spring collection for Tibi was chic and uncomplicated at once, delivering luxe style and sophistication with an air of ease. Slouchy suit jackets in plaids and taupes were offset by dresses in sorbet tones juxtaposed with bolder hues of orange, yellow, blue and green.
“We wanted to maybe move away from something that feels a little more special occasion and go into something that feels a little more every day.” Jack McCollough explained after showing the Proenza Schouler SS19 collection. What this translated into was a decidedly pared back collection centred around three basic materials: denim, cotton shirting and a helping of leather.
The Parsons MFA exhibition was a juggernaut of avant-garde influences and references, with graduates opting for haute-conceptuality, rivalling that of established designers in the New York Fashion Week circuit. Between Kota Okuda’s money-clip minidress, Shie Lyu’s serpentine plastic shapes and Limeng Ye’s photoreal prints, there was no shortage of raw talent and imagination in this cohort.
Christian Cowan’s SS19 collection was full of drama, drama and… more drama. From translucent bejewelled face coverings and gothic Elizabethan gowns to OTT feather adorned pantsuits and matching skirts and tops made from deconstructed straw hats (an ode to Jacquemus’ infamous SS18 staple), there was no shortage of spectacle in Cowan’s sartorial universe this season.
The Row’s offerings the past few seasons have been nothing short of exquisite, and their SS19 collection is no exception. Working in a decidedly monochrome palette ranging from creamy ivories and sandy taupes to charcoal greys and jet black, this season was all about oversized garments that flow effortlessly. Floor-grazing papal-esque coats, plush regal capes and elegantly understated slip dresses made for a simply timeless collection.
Cody is a content creator at Glossi Mag.
He is a photography aficionado, masters candidate, fashion enthusiast, avid Ariana Grande fan and lover of all things aesthetically pleasing.